Witchmag's Boekenplank

Witchmag's Boekenplank

My little shelf, created to share all the amazing books I've encountered in my life. To rant about the not so great ones and to meet other people who are as crazy as I am about books.

16 Books For the End of Summer

Hope you had lots of fun and reading during last days of Summer :-) Since vacation is coming to an end we would like to make Summer to Fall season shift easier. We asked several BookLikes bloggers and BookLikes authors to pick book recommendations best for the end of summer. Here are 16 books of various genres which will leave you in good spirits and with positive energy.


We're easing Fall with books - enjoy reading! 



Michael form Literary Exploration wrote :  It was winter here in Australia (which was still hot) so my recommendations are a little cold and dark. Let's see:



Machine by James Smythe


A soldier haunted by his memories turns to a machine to take his nightmares away, but it takes everything away; now his wife is determined to rebuild him. Dubbed as Frankenstein for the 21st century, The Machine is a wonderfully dark and complex novel that really deserves more attention.


A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra 


In a small village in war torn Chechnya, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena explores the dangers three very different people experience. I'm not a fan of the heat so I do enjoy a novel set in a colder climate and this one was perfect; the imagery, the characters and the proses in this debut was masterfully executed.


Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 


In a small town in northern Iceland 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttiris waiting her execution for her part in the brutal murder of two men. I know I'm hooked on these cold and dark novels, that is what I like but I couldn't go past mentioning this amazing debut about the last execution of an Icelandic carried out in Denmark. Extra bonus, Hannah Kent is a fellow Australian.



Sara from The Page Sage points to four books:

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 


This is one of those books that I always recommend to everybody. It’s perfect for summer because of the deserted island setting (which means a lot of the story is on a beach), but it’s also guaranteed to make you go back to school/work feeling empowered.


 An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 


Even though I’ve never actually been on a road trip, I equate them with summer. And An Abundance of Katherines has an awesome road trip. It will also prepare you for all the math you’ll have to do once school starts again, but in a way that is actually really cool. (Trust me: this is coming from a person who panics over math tests.)


Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 


Summer is also a perfect time for traveling and in Wanderlove, Bria goes on the backpacking trip of a lifetime. You’ll be transported to Central America. This book features gorgeous artwork by the author, too, which just adds to the amazing atmosphere. 


Poison by Bridget Zinn


Summer books aren't just contemporary novels, of course! Poison is a light, fast-paced, fun fairy tale about a poison master set out to kill her best friend. (But seriously, it really is fun and light.) It’s the perfect book for some outdoor reading as you soak up the last of the summer sun.



 Kinga the Eclectic Reader prepared books perfect for younger people:


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer 


Uplifting memoir of an African boy who dreamed big and didn't stop learning even though he had to drop out from school. Using things he found in scrapyard, he built a windmill and provided his small village in Malawi with access to electricity. Great motivation for anyone still studying – just in time to for the school year!


Blood Red Road by Moira Young 


If you don’t want to think about school just yet, here is a book for teenagers (the actual ones and those at heart) full of adventure and spunk, perfect to chase away the approaching melancholy of autumn. It’s a story of Saba who walks around the dry and dusty post-apocalyptic world in search of her twin brother.


Labor Day by Joyce Maynard 


The book is narrated by Henry who looks back on one very hot Labor Day weekend (that’s the first weekend of September for all non-Americans out there) when he was thirteen and his life changed forever. It marked not only the end of summer for him but also possibly the end of his childhood. Sweet and sad at the same time – a perfect read for early September.





BookLikes author Sharon E. Cathcart says: All three of these were exceptional reads, light enough for the beach but entertaining enough to keep you going.



Deception by Jaimey Grant 


England 1818. Determined to find love, Aurora Glendenning hides her wealth and status, wanting a man to love her for her...one who will overlook her mistakes. When she meets Levi, Lord Greville, she thinks her prayers have been answered. There's just one problem: he needs wealth to right his wrongs.


Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson


In this fantastical novel, Disney's Magic Kingdom suddenly becomes a bit eerie. Finn Whitman and four other teens have been hired as Disney World guides, but with an odd twist: With cutting-edge technology, they have been transformed into hologram projections capable of leading guests around the park. What begins as an exciting theme park job turns into a virtual nightmare.


Dancing with Paris  by Juliette Sobanet 


Straitlaced marriage therapist Claudia Davis had a plan—and it definitely did not involve getting pregnant from a one-night stand or falling for a gorgeous French actor. She thinks her life can’t possibly get more complicated. But when Claudia takes a tumble in her grandmother’s San Diego dance studio, she awakens in 1950s Paris in the body of Ruby Kerrigan, the glamorous star of a risqué cabaret—and the number-one suspect in the gruesome murder of a fellow dancer



BookLikes author Lauren B. Davis picks three incredible reads: 


All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West 


First published in 1931. The companion novel to Virginian Woolf’s  (who was Sackville-West’s friend and lover) Room of One’s Own, this is a perfect little book (170 pages) for reading in a quiet summer garden.  A proper Victorian lady, Lady Slane, now widowed, had devoted her life to others, but now – gracefully but firmly – removes herself from under the stifling wings of her well-meaning, if pompous, children and rents a small house to live out her remaining days in as she pleases, socializing with an eccentric group of new acquaintances who scandalize the children!


Utterly delightful and just as relevant today as when first published.


The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers


First published in 1940. Not only does this novel have the best title in the world – can you think of a book it would not suit? – but the steam and heat of the humid south rises off every page. 


A beautiful and wistful meditation on isolation, loneliness and a yearning to connect. Just the sort of bittersweet sentiments appropriate to the end of summer.


Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson 

A modern classic in which the sensory details of landscape are so vivid one is utterly immersed in them. Full of compassion and grace. A haunting story of how our desire and attempts to love and connect with another are what make us fully human, even when faced with the permanence of loss and the ephemeral quality of  love. 


It doesn't matter what season it is, it’s always the right season for this book.  I can do no better than quote it: 


To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it . . . and when do our senses know anything so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing—the world will be made whole.




Thank you all for awesome book recommendations. Now we can jump into September and upcoming Fall with hands full of books. 

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So true.
So true.
Reblogged from Reading After Midnight
4 Stars
Review: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study, #2)
Magic Study  - Maria V. Snyder

*Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank*


As soon as I finished reading the first book, Study of Poison, I ran to the library to get my hands on this book. I just had to know how the story continued. After a couple of pages, it was obvious that I, once again, had found a real page-turner!  I even took it with me when I went to visit my sister, so I could continue to read. It was so hard to put this book down! Maria V. Snyder has yet again managed to write a captivating story about a most intriguing world. This time you’ll get to discover the South. To Sitia, the place where Yelena was born and magic has not been banned. No, instead it is embraced and encouraged. However, something is wrong. A ruthless murderer is on the loose, leaving lifeless bodies of young girls in his wake. Then there is Cahil, the cousin of the dethroned king of Ixia…


Despite everything thrown her way, Yelena stood tall, but sometimes took on too much. She was also focused too much on fixing things by herself. I understand that for years she has been on her own and that her trust was shattered and stomped on. Still, not everyone is out to be your enemy. Sometimes it comes in handy to share things cause some people might know more than you. So why not tell them? The worse that could happen is one scary and life threatening situation less, so why not go for it?


Notwithstanding Yelena’s behavior at times, it was a delight to discover new characters and re-acquaint the old. I was especially happy to see Janca and Ari, Yelena’s “big brothers”, again. Their antics always make me smile. While reading, though, I noticed something: we hardly get a detailed description of the characters. At first I thought I must have missed them, but with every new character Yelena encounters there was still no description. Even though my mind has already created an image, I’d still like to have some handles, something more than the most beautiful blue eyes she’s ever seen or a bunch of blond curls.


I also noted that I could not really feel the connection, the emotional bonds between the characters. There are not many words spent on describing the emotions Yelena feels, the focus here is more on the adventure. A vast difference between all the Young Adult and New Adult books I’ve read, where feelings are THE most important thing. It’s not annoying, though, just different. Still, at some points I totally wished I could see a bit of her real feelings. It felt a bit dull now (I think you understand WHICH scenes I’m talking about don’t you? *wiggles eye brows*).



4 HEARTS. Although it looks like I did not enjoy the book much, with my focus on less stellar moments, as I said in the beginning, I LOVED reading this book! Yelena continues being an amazing and strong woman, who is not afraid to make her hands dirty. She has some control and trust issues, but she’s learning to cope with them ^^ It was great to return to my beloved characters and meeting new ones. There are some things I noticed, like the lack of a detailed character description, but they did not have any influence at all on the joy I felt while reading. Therefore I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure with a strong female lead. Now on to the next book!

Source: http://witchmagsboekenplank.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/review-magic-study-by-maria-v-snyder
Let's Explore More & Tags and Comments Updates

New Explore is on! Go and see, seriously, we’ll wait for you :-) Now when you’re back we have several more updates which include tags and comments :)


First things first. Now you can explore blogs on BookLikes thanks to categories and special boxes. We’ve divided Explore page into several sections.


In the left column you’ll see filter of language/authors and possibility of seeing all blogs. And of course categories - these are the categories that you’ve chosen in Book Blog Directory form (books your read and review). In the central part you can see three sections of Popular bloggers, Hot texts and reviews and New, the newest and trending.

Now you can use categories to see the popular, hot and new in each book blog category, click more to see other entries from each section.


If you wish to see blogs without these filters, just click “See all blogs” and select category of your interest. You can also search through blogs in other languages (English, German, Polish) and blogs by authors. To reset view and go back to main page of Explore, click back to overview



Have in mind that Explore is a big project and already released, however, it’s very dynamic and in constant progress as we still wait for all bloggers to fill up the Book Blog Directory form and of course we’re counting on new ones. You can update and fill up the form in Settings/Blog by clicking Edit categories.

We'll be also updating and adjusting new page and its parameters. If you have any remarks, let us know.





To make exploring even more comfortable we've made some changes with your tags. Now every time you'll be writing something, you'll see hints with most recently used tags. This will help you in organizing your writings with the same tags and will help others in finding writings with a given thematic label.



We've received several messages concerning longer and more elaborate comments. To make it comfortable to write and read them we've added possibility of dividing your notes under posts into paragraphs. To go to second line while writing a comment click ENTER and to publish your note use combination SHIFT + ENTER.

Reblogged from BookLikes
3 Stars
Review: Legacy by Cayla Kluver (Legacy, #1)
Legacy - Cayla Kluver

*Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank*


Reading his book had its moments. Some good, some not so quite. The story as such is quite captivating. We have a princess who has to marry a man she can’t stand. Unless she manages to find another suitable candidate. At the same time she gets involved in a mystery, that started sixteen years ago… When 48 babes were stolen and only 47 bodies could be found. Finally the last one is found, alive. A boy who has been raised by the enemy and actually is not as ugly as our princess thought he would be. But not suitable at all as a candidate…


Sounds good doesn’t it? In reality, it was not that spectacular. The story was too lengthy for me. It took too long before something, anything happened. In the meantime you get to read about all kinds of superfluous details of the daily life at the palace. The way people look is also described till the smallest details. Which is way too much for me. I mean, I don’t need to know the EXACT height or what people are wearing. Just hints are enough. This overuse of details made it hard for me to focus, especially in the middle. It was so boring! However before I knew it I was sucked in again, with the help of some unexpected twists that continue to shake me to the core. And in turn made me very curious to what the next book will bring ^^


Not only the amount of details made it hard at times, there’s also our main lead, Alera. Who apparently is very grown-up and rebellious. Yeah right, I have seldom read about such a naïve, spoiled, thoughtless and pliable character. Especially her inability to think before she acted was infuriating at times. I mean how could someone possible think that if you tell that a certain person forsook his most important duty, that person would not get fired? How? That was not the only time Alera obviously lacked some brain cells and made me sigh and groan. At such times it was hard to resist my tendency to put the book down. But I prevailed and watch her grow. Towards the ending she finally made me astonished in a positive way. WOW! I did not expect such bravery from her!


Not all was bad though, there were enough characters besides Alera that did not work on my nerves. Some I even got to love. Like Narian and the mystery he presents. He was the main reason I kept on going. His cuteness and the puzzle he presented. Cause why exactly did he return? What did he do during his years with the enemy? Oh my questions were endless and my curiosity high! Of course they were not answered or satisfied in this one…. I so love and hate it when authors do that to me ^^



3 HEARTS. Even though this book was lengthy and too detailed at times, the ending made it worthwhile. Our main character, Alera, and I had a VERY rocky start because of the way she acted. She was so annoying! Fortunately there are some nice secondary characters and Narian. I was unable to see through him, which made him unpredictable and kept me reading. Add to that one heck of an ending and I find myself looking forward to the next book!

Source: http://witchmagsboekenplank.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/review-legacy-by-cayla-kluver
4 Stars
Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

*Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank*


The film adaptation of the second book, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters is currently running in the theaters. I saw the first movie a while back and quite liked it. However since the original books are about a twelve-year-old boy, I was not so keen on reading them. I mean how could a children’s book possibly capture the attention of a grown-up woman? Wouldn’t it be too simple for me?? So when I saw it standing on a shelf in the library I thought: Yeah so not the book for me and walked past it. Oh why not, there are gods and other mythical creatures featured in this book. And took it with me. I’m sooooo glad I did it! You don’t notice at all that the book is about a young boy and his friends. That its intended audience are middle graders. This book proves once again that books can be read by everyone ^^



It also proves that books are usually better than their movie adaptations. They left so many fun and important things out! The “real” story was also much and much better. It’s way more fascinating, funny and intriguing. You get to see more of the wonderous world of the gods. The movie even left out some amazing and great moments that I would have loved seeing on-screen. This makes me a bit curious to how this will influence the second movie, cause some events were quite important ^^


Like I said it’s a fantastic story, for young AND old. Especially for someone who loves to read about Greek Mythology. Rick Riordan really created an amazing world full of gods and other mythical creatures. He even makes it believable by introducing Mist. The veil that keeps the world of the gods from being seen by mundanes. It’s very funny when Percy’s veil was lifted and he could suddenly see everything that was kept from him. The story is also quite good and exciting. It’s a great puzzle to find out who did it. Who stole Zeus’s lightning. I loved the hints and dead ends I was given. The twists and turns. Even for someone who already saw the movie (and so knew how it ended ;) ), I was never completely sure I got it right ^^



4 HEARTS.  This book proves that books are usually better than movies and some stories can be read by everyone, regardless their age. It also proves that it never grows old to read about the Greek gods and their latest antics. It has an intriguing mystery, that will keep you guessing till the last page and a good dose of humor. A lovely book I can recommend to everyone ^^

Source: http://witchmagsboekenplank.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/review-the-lightning-thief-by-rick-riordan
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Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Source: http://www.adazing.com/inspirational-reading-quotes-pt-3
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Source: http://www.adazing.com/inspirational-reading-quotes
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This is so true, books are definitely an escape for me.

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Source: http://www.adazing.com/inspirational-reading-quotes-pt-2
Who will guess what are we working on right now?

Here's a little hint :-)


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I ♥ books ...

Reblogged from Bookloving writer
10 Book Related Things Each Book Lover Should Have


Want to buy book lover a gift? Book is an obvious solution. Why don't you try something different? And if you like it, make it yourself, for you and your bookish friends ;-) 


1. Armchair, a special one. All you need to do is to sit and read.



2. Books Mug, can by any book themed, including banned books. 



3. A Pillow, all about books of course. 



4. Bookshelf on the wall. Not wooden or any other. New trend is here - you can paint your personalized shelf!



5. Book Ends - of any shape. Need to be funny and eye catching ;-)




6. Tissues. Necessary while reading dystopian, romance, ya, msytery ...




7. Make yourself bookish stairs! 




8. Book purse for books. 




9. Shakespeare Pill Box - for literary hypochondriacs. 



10. "In the Library" Perfume - yes, the scent of books in perfume bottle.



Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Source: http://www.bustle.com/articles/3764-10-book-related-things-to-spice-up-your-lit-themed-life
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Reblogged from Woman Reading
Reading in Progress Widget and Invite Friends

We’re bringing new Goodies! Reading in progress widget lets you show off book you’re recently reading. And new Friends main page shows you possibilities of looking through your followers/following and inviting other book lovers to join BookLikes Community. And we have some hint of future release.


New widget with book you’re currently reading and progress is available on Goodies/Widgets page. Just pick book you're reading right now and size of cover. You can implement widget on your other webpages or add to your blog page on BookLikes by getting the code and pasting it into Widget area in Customization tab (currently reading box is auto-presented but you can switch it off and replace it with widget in Customization tab).



To make the widget work fully, remember to add number of read pages in book pop up. Then widget will reveal your place in a book and how long you have to go on to finish it.

We’ve also updated the look of Friends tab by giving it main page where you see your recent followers and blogs you follow as well as different possibilities of inviting other avid readers to follow your BookLikes Blog.

You can use social media (Facebook, Twitter) and mail invites to ask your bookish friends to join BookLikes Community.


Future hint:

Following your requests we’re preparing new feature for those who read in paper, e and audio format. Soon you’ll be able to pick pages (for paper books), % (for e-books) and minutes (for audio books) in book pop up. This will be also visible on Currently reading widget and your public blog page.

Reblogged from BookLikes
3 Stars
Review: A Beautiful Fate by Cat Mann (A Beautiful Fate, #1)
A Beautiful Fate - Cat Mann

*Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank*


*I received a copy as part of the blog tour in exchange for my honest review*


To be honest, this book and I had a rocky start. There was something with the beginning that made it hard for me to concentrate. I’ve never created so many notes within such a short amount of pages because I could not focus. It also took me some time to get accustomed with the writing style of Cat Mann, which felt different somehow. Not strange or weird, just different. Enfin, after a while the book and I managed to come to an understanding, to form a careful bond. Along the road we experienced the usual ups and downs, cause no relationship (except in fairy tales) is perfect. However the book and I did manage to part as friends and I might get a new friend if I manage to track down his friend, A Broken Fate.


As I said there were some down moments I encountered while reading. Besides the rather difficult beginning, I also felt that at times the story was too lengthy. I mean, it’s nice to read about the daily life of Ava, but that’s not what I came here to do. I came here to read about action, adventure. Greek mythology. Which means that sometimes things have to HAPPEN, at least more interesting or exiting things than the “mundane” lives of teenagers. Been there done that. It also felt like the book consisted of two parts, which could easily have been made in two books. The story is long enough for that to be possible. (can’t believe I’m actually suggesting something like this, then again I was always good in torturing myself ^^)  It would feel better that way.


Okay now the ups. Lets start with Ava, who’s obviously not a people person, as she said herself. She’s not someone who easily shares her feelings or makes a connection with other people. You can actually see it in the way she “thinks”. This made it a bit harder for me to form a connection. Even after I got to know her, she managed to astonish me, I was speechless. O.O WOW! She’s so different from the usual female main characters you can find in the Young Adult / New Adult genre. She’s a true kick-ass amazon who will keep on fighting till her last breath to protect the ones she loves. And I loved her the more for it.


The plot too was a definite up. I mean descendants from famous Greek mythological creatures? That’s my kind of story! I also liked the detailed way Ava’s powers were written. It’s original and amazing. Then we have the way how slowly, oh so slowly all the pieces of the puzzle are revealed. It kept me reading, wishing things would hurry on, but enjoying the story nonetheless. I truly could not put it down, even when the book and I had one of our disagreements again.


But then….. The absolute up, the summit was definitely the ending. WOOOOOOOW! Talking about cliffhangers! I can’t remember ever reading one this colossal. Ever. It’s killing me from the inside and the next book has not been published yet…. NOOOOOOOO Thankfully there was a blurb for the next sequel that saved me from being left hanging, much (something I absolutely CAN’T stand). Still, me needs to know the whole truth! I want the next book!



3 HEARTS. Despite the antagonizing ending, the fantastic story, the amazing heroine and the fresh way mythological creatures are used in this book, I can’t give it more hearts. The downs were a bit too steep for me to do that. Still, I can easily recommend this book who love to read about the daily lives of teenagers, mixed with some paranormal stuff.

Source: http://witchmagsboekenplank.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/blog-tour-a-beautiful-fate-by-cat-mann-review